March 25, 2021 — Ottawa, ON — Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people across the world. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common type, making up nearly 90% of all diabetes cases. T2D can result from a wide range of social, environmental and genetic factors. Obesity, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, lower socioeconomic status, and increased age are known to increase the risk of developing T2D. The condition disproportionately affects racialized communities. The prevalence of T2D is increasing, but many cases can be prevented.
Today, Jennifer O’Connell, Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, announced, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and the Netherlands that aims to accelerate research to prevent diabetes and to improve the quality of life for individuals with T2D. The new Netherland-Canada Type 2 Diabetes Research Consortium is supported with funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation, Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), and Health~Holland.
Led by Dr. Patrick Schrauwen at Maastricht University and Dr. Andre Carpentier at Université de Sherbrooke, the Consortium will explore whether the time of day when we eat or exercise, among other behaviours, has an impact on the prevention, reversal and remission of T2D. This research builds on the recognition that a disruption of the body’s biological clock through exposure to shift work, travelling across time zones, or a switch to Daylight Saving Time, as well as exposure to artificial lighting and digital screens, may result in disturbances in sleep, eating and exercise, which can affect the health and well-being of individuals.
Canada’s contribution for this Consortium is part of CIHR’s 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes initiative. This initiative commemorates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and invests in new research that will support the development of new preventive and therapeutic approaches to reverse the upward trajectory of diabetes prevalence and associated morbidities, and reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals, families and communities.